Top 10 Veterans Stories in Today’s News – December 20, 2011


Veterans! Here’s your Top 10 News stories of the day compiled from the latest sources


We encourage you to browse our list so that you can take what you want and keep what you need


1.    DOD extends deadline for colleges to sign new tuition aid pact.  The Department of Defense said U.S. colleges that hope to receive tuition assistance funds will have another three months to accept new requirements meant to ensure the protection of servicemembers.
2.    Army units preparing to lead new Afghan training-and-advisory mission.  Soldiers began preparing last week to deploy to Afghanistan as part of the new training-and-advisory mission designed to end the U.S. combat role ahead of the 2014 withdrawal deadline.
3.    Experts say transition of power to Kim Jong Un is far from certain.  The death of longtime North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has thrust the renegade nation into a period of deep uncertainty as the world watches to see whether his young son, Kim Jong Un, can hold onto power or whether more seasoned members of the communist regime attempt to wrest authority from his inexperienced hands.
4.    Dempsey: Future to focus on training ‘for all potential forms of warfare’.  A day after the last U.S. troops left Iraq, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said the U.S. military must redirect its focus of the last 10 years from preparing for continuous deployments to training, with an eye toward the growing strategic importance of the Pacific region.
5.    Mother of fallen East Brunswick soldier lauds $40M for military suicide prevention.  Holt said the $40 million will go toward “suicide prevention in general” and be split between the Department of Defense (DOD) and the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). “This is a very large increase in funding for suicide prevention,” Holt said. …
6.    HUD, VA to provide permanent housing, support to 60 homeless vets in Illinois.  The Rock River Times  US Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan and US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Eric K. Shinseki announced Dec. 13 that HUD will provide more than $315000 to public housing agencies to supply permanent …
7.    Agent Orange battle rages.  Delaware County Daily Times  It was not until 1991 that legislation empowered the secretary of Veterans Affairs to declare certain illnesses presumptive to Agent Orange exposure in Vietnam. Among the 20 health issues recognized by the VA were chronic B-cell Leukemia, …
8.    Aging buildings, low census prompt VA’s proposal to move to Rapid City.  Rapid City Journal  Ken Bradfield tells a common story among those who served their country and now get their health care from the US Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in the southern Black Hills community that calls itself “The Veterans Town. …
9.    Veterans struggle to enter public workforce.  Bruyea said about 30 per cent of the staff at the US Veterans Affairs Department are veterans themselves. In Canada, however, only about 100 of the 4500 employees at Veterans Affairs are identified as veterans, and only a handful appear to have been …
10.   Spending Bill Includes $10 Million For Gulf War Illness Studies.  USA Today “Congress has approved dedicating $10 million to research the mysterious Gulf War illness, ending concerns from veterans’ groups that the money would disappear because of budget problems. The spending bill passed by the Senate on Saturday and signed by President Obama includes the money for specific research into the series of ailments suffered by veterans of the Persian Gulf War.”

Have You Heard?

VA and Housing and Urban Development recently released a national report that shows Veteran homelessness fell nearly 12 percent between January 2010 and January 2011. The 12-percent decline keeps VA on track to meet the goal of ending Veteran homelessness in 2015. “This new report is good news for the tens of thousands of Veterans we have helped find a home. Our progress in the fight against homelessness has been significant, but our work is not complete until no Veteran has to sleep on the street,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “We have been successful in achieving this milestone due to strong leadership from the President and hard work by countless community organizations and our federal, state, and local partners who are committed to helping Veterans and their families get back on their feet.” According to the 2011 supplement to the Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) released, 67,495 Veterans were homeless in the United States on a single night in January 2011 – a significant reduction from last year’s single night count of 76,329. For more information on Veterans homeless issues, visit


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